Witness describes Scientology drills

The Oregonian/July 25, 1979
By John Painter Jr.

Scientology courses are designed to make students dependent on their instructors so it is "easier to brainwash them," a disaffected Church of Scientology communications supervisor testified Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

One particular "drill" called "bull baiting" involved verbal and physical abuse and sometimes overt sexual contact, Diana Morgan testified.

She appeared as a witness for Julie Christofferson Titchbourne, 21, in the trial of a $2 million-plus damage suit Mrs. Titchbourne brought against three Scientology organizations and adherents.

She is seeking damages on allegations of misrepresentations, common law fraud and outrageous conduct.

Ms. Morgan testified she joined the church in 1975 after she had separated from her husband, who already was a church member. She said she joined after being told a Scientology communications course would help her get along with her husband.

After starting the communications course, she said, she was contacted by Ed Petty, a Scientology registrar, and was talked into signing up for additional courses after a conversation that lasted "many, many hours."

She said Petty sent her to Bend to borrow$10,000 from her parents to pay for the courses. After she was refused, she said, she and her husband borrowed $1,500 from friends and used that as collateral to borrow another $1,500 from a Scientology credit union. The money was used to pay for courses.

She said she signed on as a staff member of the Mission of Davis, one of the defendants in the lawsuit, first as a receptionist and later as a communications course supervisor.

Ms. Morgan, a Portland resident, described the various classes and what was required of students in them. Describing "bull baiting," she said: "You sit in a chair and your coach sits across from you. He can do anything or say anything, and you're not supposed to react."

She said the session was designed to find a person's "buttons" - weak points - and to punch them over and over again until there was no reaction.

In her case, she said, her coach would "hit me on the nose all the time and say 'You have a big nose.'" If she reacted - she was "flunked" and the "bull baiting" started over.

Foul language was common, she said, and "they really got into sex."

In one such session, she said, she saw the 8-year-old son of a registrar repeatedly put his hands down the front of a woman student's dress until she failed to react. The woman left and did not return.

In another case, a female coach repeatedly unzipped a male student's pants, exposing his gentiles, until he too, stopped reacting.

Asked the purpose of such exercises by Garry McMurry, lead attorney for Mrs. Titchbourne, Ms. Morgan said, "The more you find out about the student, the easier it is to keep him in Scientology."

She added: "The more you learn about your student, the easier it was to brainwash them."

She testified that how fast a student progressed through the course depended on the amount of money the student had. Students with cash in hand progressed faster than students still trying to gather the course rate.

In trying to recruit new followers on the street, she testified, she was instructed to deny Scientology was a religion if the potential recruit seemed concerned or apprehensive about that aspect.

She said that in soliciting new students, she was told not to "say too much and to stay away from religion."

Ms. Morgan will continue her testimony Wednesday.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.